Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mailbox Monday-- Another Month Passes

Mailbox Monday is my favorite weekly meme. Hosted by the gracious Marcia on her blog, The Printed Page, I've been known to keep a pad of paper and a pen at hand as I roam from participating blog to participating blog. If you'd like to see all the books received by other bloggers, click on that redhead to the left. She'll take you right to the heart of the action!

I thought I was being a "good girl" when I sent 5 books to new Paperback Swap (PBS) foster homes last week, but then I hit the Wish List Jackpot. Seems like everyone had taken a look at my wish list and decided to send me goodies all at the same time. I received 8 books last week-- all from fellow PBS members. Here's the scoop:

  1. Crazy Woman by Kate Horsley. "Sara Franklin is an outcast among her own white people. Her thirst for knowledge and spirituality is threatening to both her abusive father and her neurotic husband. When she is captured by the Apaches in New Mexico, they dub her Crazy Woman, and treat her like a slave. Yet, as she begins to learn the ways of her captors, she earns their respect as a strong, clever, even magical, woman."
  2. Dead Write, A Forensic Handwriting Mystery by Sheila Lowe. "Handwriting expert Claudia Rose heads to the Big Apple at the behest of Grusha Olinetsky, the notorious founder of an elite dating service whose members are mysteriously dying. Drawn into the feckless lives of the rich and single, Claudia finds herself in a twisted world of love and lies fueled by desperation. But is one among them desperate enough to kill? Claudia must find clues in the suspects' handwriting before more victims are scribbled into the killer's black book.."
  3. China Trade by S.J. Rozan. "Rozan's debut novel, focusing both on china, the porcelain, and on the homeland of many inhabitants of New York City's Chinatown, introduces likable Asian-American PI, Lydia Chin. Lydia, hired by the Chinatown Pride museum to recover stolen antique porcelains, confronts the leaders of rival Chinatown gangs in hopes of flushing out the robbers. With information gleaned from a meek scholar who habitually steals tiny porcelains from prominent collections, Lydia discovers an antiquities-laundering business that crosses all socioeconomic strata. Her sidekick, full-time sleuth Bill Smith, provides an element of sexual tension; the resolution hinges on a silly scheme in which Lydia sets herself up to be attacked by a hit man and rescued by her cooperative NYPD pals."
  4. The Three Body Problem, A Cambridge Mystery by Catherine Shaw. "Cambridge, 1888. Miss Vanessa Duncan is a young schoolmistress recently arrived from the countryside. She loves teaching and finds the world of academia fascinating; everything is going so well. But everything changes when a Fellow of Mathematics, Mr. Akers, is found dead in his room from a violent blow to the head. Invited to dinner by the family of one of her charges, Vanessa meets many of the victim’s colleagues, including Mr. Arthur Weatherburn, who had dined with Mr. Akers the evening of his death and happens to be Vanessa’s upstairs neighbor. Discussing the murder, she learns of Sir Isaac Newton’s yet unsolved ‘n-body problem’, which Mr. Akers might have been trying to solve to win the prestigious prize. As the murder remains unsolved, Vanessa’s relationship with Arthur Weatherburn blossoms. Then another mathematician, Mr. Beddoes is murdered and Arthur is jailed. Convinced of his innocence and with a theory of her own, Vanessa decides to prove her case. But when a third mathematician dies, it becomes a race against time to solve the puzzle. . ."
  5. The Penguin Pool Murder, A Hildegarde Withers Mystery by Stuart Palmer. "Hildegarde Withers is a schoolteacher shepherding her lively class of children round the New York Aquarium, where a gruesome murder is found to have been committed. Miss Withers finds herself getting involved with the investigation and clashing with the officer in charge, Inspector Piper. This is the first in a series of mysteries starring the strong-minded Miss Withers as amateur sleuth. Hildegarde Withers is an impressive lady who is always in command of the situation, dealing with a bunch of tough little children stands her in good stead when it comes to dealing with criminals or for that matter with the police."
  6. The Inspector's Daughter by Alanna Knight. "In a desperate attempt to recover from the loss of her husband and her baby son, Rose McQuinn has returned home to Edinburgh from the American Wild West. It seems that everything has moved on in her absence, including her beloved stepbrother who has found favor at court and moved to London. But Rose has little time to ponder her loneliness before she unwittingly steps into the shoes of her father, the legendary Detective Inspector Faro, by agreeing to investigate the strange behavior of Matthew Bolton, husband to Rose s childhood friend Alice. Alice is convinced Matthew is having an affair but Rose suspects he may have been involved in something much more sinister - the brutal and still unsolved murder of a servant girl. If Rose continues her investigations surely she will break Alice s heart. But she is her father s daughter, and she cannot resist the urge to discover the truth. From her isolated home at the foot of Arthur's Seat and aided by a wild deerhound who has befriended her, Rose starts to piece things together, until she gets too near the truth and puts her own life in danger."
  7. Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris. "For generations, privileged young men have attended St. Oswald's Grammar School for Boys, groomed for success by the likes of Roy Straitley, the eccentric Classics teacher who has been a fixture there for more than thirty years. This year, however, the wind of unwelcome change is blowing, and Straitley is finally, reluctantly, contemplating retirement. As the new term gets under way, a number of incidents befall students and faculty alike, beginning as small annoyances but soon escalating in both number and consequence. St. Oswald's is unraveling, and only Straitley stands in the way of its ruin. But he faces a formidable opponent with a bitter grudge and a master strategy that has been meticulously planned to the final, deadly move."

  8. Kangaroo Dreaming, An Australian Wildlife Odyssey by Edward Kanze. "Caught up in both Homer's Odyssey and the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the author and his wife decided to spend nine months traversing Australia, communing with lotus-eaters in the form of wine-loving Australians and practicing Emerson's self-reliance while camping in the outback. Starting their journey in Melbourne, the couple made their way by bus, boat, train, but mostly by automobile around the entire continent, seeing each of the six states and two territories and all of the habitat types. As naturalists, their main goal was to see as many of Australia's unique animals as they could find. Kanze writes of encounters with a platypus diving for invertebrate prey and chewing it up on its return to the surface, of possums so tame that they climb into the soup, of chasing a wallaby to see how fast it can hop, and of campground wombats feeding on grassy fields in the dark. Mixed with the author's tales of the journey are quotations from Mark Twain, D. H. Lawrence, and Edward Abbey and a wealth of natural history, from descriptions of kangaroos from early English explorers to late-breaking discoveries from Australian scientists. An extremely satisfying look at a land most of us know little about."
Have you read any of these books? Which ones would you recommend? Did any of you just add a title or two from my pile to your own list? Which ones? Do tell!


  1. That's quite a bunch.

    <a href=">Here's mine for the week</A>

  2. Nice haul! I recently read Gentlemen and Players and enjoyed it for the weird creepy vibe. There's something about Joanne Harris' writing that sucks me in every time!

    Hope you enjoy!

  3. Looks like you have a lot of reading ahead of you. I really need to organize my books and join PB Swap.

  4. I have read Gentlemen and Players too, didn't like it as much Lana seems to have done and I'm afraid the Edward Kanze book didn't do it for me at all - was more of a list of birds seen than anything else (which is OK but don't market it as a book of adventures) and his constantly comparing his trip to the Odyssey was a bit laboured. But then I suspect it wasn't written for a local audience so I'll be curious to see what you think.

  5. Great haul! I hope you enjoy them all.

  6. Lisa-- It's very close to being an embarrassing bunch!

    Lana-- Thanks for the recommendation of Gentlemen and Players. I enjoy a good creepy book now and then!

    Cheryl-- Joining PBS has really helped me thin out my collection.

    Bernadette-- Oh oh. We'll see what happens when I read those two books. Thanks so much for your opinion!

    Ryan-- I hope I do, too!

  7. How funny.

    I am reading one of those, but as I may use it for my bait-in-the-box game this week, I won´t tell you yet which one.

    Several of them look tempting.

  8. Great list! I really want to read the Inspector's Daughter. That looks like a good one. I am finishing up a new fantasy novel you might enjoy called, Bloodline Alliance. The story is rich with some great plots twists. The characters are very well written and you feel as if you know them. I highly recommend this one for all ages!

  9. Dorte-- Well, it has to be one of the mysteries, so that narrows it down a bit. Hmmm....

    Audrey-- I'll take a look. Thanks for the recommendation!


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